Jack Olender Honored as "Champion of Justice"
Cloaked in an Everlast boxing robe, Jack Olender triumphantly held up a boxing championship belt presented to him Saturday night by his colleagues at the Trial Lawyers Association, DC (TLA-DC) annual banquet at the Cannon House Office Building. Olender received a standing ovation as he was presented with the TLA-DC's Champion of Justice Award for his legal prowess and stalwart advocacy on behalf of the injured. Wayne Cohen, a former boxer and TLA-DC President, likened Olender to a boxing champion and praised him as a "tireless champion of justice for his clients." "Jack's energy and passion never wane, and he is an inspiration to us all," said Cohen.
"This championship belt almost fulfills my boyhood dream of becoming a boxing champion," said Olender. "I used to struggle to stay awake in bed Friday nights listening to the fights of the greats - Joe Louis, Willie Pep, Jake LaMotta, Sugar Ray Robinson. I was a pretty fair boxer myself, but my skill was not commensurate with my courage ... But in the end, Champion of Justice is more important than a heavyweight champion ... The work we as trial lawyers do is just. We need to make sure that David always has the sling in the never-ending battle against Goliath."
Turning to public policy, Olender added, "We must never give in to the present administration's cruel politics to cut off the rights of our most severely injured clients. They would cap and deny compensation from the negligent, reckless persons and corporations responsible for the injuries. If we need any inspiration for this fight, we need only think of the immortal warriors led by Howard Law professor Charles Hamilton Houston who conceived and produced Brown v. Board of Education, decided fifty years ago this month. They fought the unbeatable foe and they won."
Olender then introduced five members of the audience who are past recipients of the Washington Bar Association's Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit: Chief Judge Annice M. Wagner, Judge Julia Cooper Mack, Judge Eugene Hamilton, attorney Joe Hairston, and Howard Professor J. Clay Smith.
After Olender received his Award, the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award was presented to Robert Michael of Rockville, Maryland. Michael graciously accepted his plaque, but jokingly complained that he had not received a belt or a robe. "I have never done much boxing," warned Michael, "but I am prepared to beat the heck out of you, Jack, to take your belt!"
Jack Olender has served as President of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia (BADC). He is a former President of the Trial Lawyers Association, D.C., the American Board of Trial Advocates, D.C., and the George Washington American Inn of Court. Mr. Olender was the first lawyer in the District of Columbia certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. The National Bar Association has twice awarded Jack Olender its Presidential Award and honored him, along with his wife Lovell, as "Advocates for Justice." He has been recognized as Lawyer of the Year by the BADC and the Trial Lawyers Association, D.C.
Jack Olender has appeared on CBS 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, and numerous other national news programs. A vocal advocate for patients' rights, Mr. Olender has been honored by consumer watchdog group Public Citizen for "his groundbreaking achievements in bringing accountability to American medicine." In its most recent profile of the area's top lawyers, Washingtonian magazine lauded Jack Olender as the "medical-malpractice wizard ... Olender is the giant of the plaintiff's bar, a reputation earned over years of devoted service to his clients." Described as "the heavyweight malpractice law firm" by the Washington Business Journal, Olender and his associates have prosecuted to a verdict or settlement approximately 150 cases upwards of a million dollars each.